Altered Autonomic Functions and Distressed Personality Traits in Male Adolescents with Internet Gaming Addiction.

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2016 Nov;19(11):667-673.

Kim N1, Hughes TL2, Park CG2, Quinn L2, Kong ID3.


Internet gaming addiction (IGA) has been associated with many negative health outcomes, especially for youth; however, few studies have examined the physiological parameters and personality features related to this addiction. This study aimed to identify differences in autonomic functions and distressed (type D) personality traits among Korean adolescent males with and without IGA. In a cross-sectional study, 68 adolescent males were recruited in a Korean city using convenience and snowball sampling methods. For each subject, heart rate variability (HRV) parameters were measured as autonomic functions and questionnaires were used to identify IGA and type D personality traits. Data were analyzed using descriptive analyses, t tests, χ2 tests, and Pearson’s correlation. Most HRV parameters significantly differed between the IGA and non-IGA groups (all p < 0.05). Type D personality total and subscale scores, including those for negative affectivity (NA) and social inhibition, were significantly higher in the IGA group (all p < 0.001). Of the 68 subjects, 46 were classified as having type D personality, with nearly twice as many in the IGA group as in the non-IGA group (p = 0.002). Type D personality total scores negatively correlated with the logarithmic value of total power and low frequency among the HRV parameters (both p < 0.05). Results showed that excessive Internet gaming was related to alterations in autonomic functions and distressed personality traits in male adolescents. These findings provide further understanding of the IGA phenomenon and highlight the need for interventions that address male adolescents with IGA.

KEYWORDS: Internet addiction; online gaming

PMID: 27831751

DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2016.0282